Category Archives: tango

What a Sunday

Posting long notes because this will help me remember. =) You can skip this if you want.

I woke up to a nice long Skype chat with my mom and dad. =) It was
great catching up again and telling them about the stuff I’ve been up

I helped Brian Wilson buy groceries for the Graduate House Council
barbecue this Monday. We bought 60+ liters of softdrinks and juice,
200 hamburger buns, 100 hotdog buns, and lots of condiments. I took
pictures of the heaps and heaps of stuff at the cashier, and I’ll post
them soon.

Then it was off to Dufferin Grove for the
Wireless Toronto launch. They’ve
blanketed the park with wireless internet. I might need to replace the
extended battery on the Fujitsu so that I can get good battery life
again. It would be so nice to be able to work under the trees!

I had a fun chat with Craig of Kijiji about
social software. He moved to Toronto from Montreal in order to work
for Kijiji, a community classified ads system that emphasizes being
able to meet people in person. It was great talking to him about the
company and how people hear about the cool stuff.

I met Jutta because she was picking leaves off stinging nettles for
use in a nettle pesto for an upcoming party – feeding 700 people! Wow.
She was chatting with Andrew Kegney(?), who’s into Wireless Toronto.
We had a fun conversation about nettles. Andrew’s story about running
into a huge patch of stinging nettles was funny! =) Jutta introduced
us to David of Clay+Paper Theatre and Georgie Donais of, two
interesting projects I should definitely look into.

Another mental note: Check out Patrick Dinnen’s blog post on
electronic communication’s suckiness.

After the Wireless Toronto thing, Jed Smith and I walked to Kensington
Market to take part in the first Pedestrian Sunday for the year. I was
supposed to attend samba practice with Jed, but I felt the pull of
tango too strongly. ;) On the way to the park where we were to meet
for samba practice, I saw that a tango club had arranged a circle of
chairs on the concrete road. I also ran into Leigh Honeywell, who was
waiting for the cooking demo at one of the booths.

A short distance down the road, I met Nana, the girl from the Queen’s
Park drum party who did totally awesome fire poi. Unfortunately, she
absentmindedly left the poi in the park one day. I gave her my
condolences on her loss and lent her the glowy poi (I still haven’t
found batteries!), giving her my telephone number so that she could
get in touch with me just in case she needed to leave early.

Anyway, tango. Couldn’t resist. Instead of going to samba practice, I
walked back to the tango circle ad danced with Trevor Barrie, Peer
Flach, and a few people I hadn’t known: Renett(sp?, Peer’s friend?),
Richard, Ian, and… err… someone whose name I’ve forgotten.
<sheepish grin>

Renett had taken a few tango lessons from Victor Hugo. Richard was an
experienced dancer. Ian was completely new to it, but I managed to
teach him a few basic steps. =) He reminded me that we’d met at a
Python meeting or something like that, and that we were both in Toastmasters. When I heard that he’s working on the Persuasion manual, I told him about my interest in sales and marketing. Now I have a study buddy! =)

When tango wound down, I wandered back to the samba group. We walked
back to Kensington Market, not too far from the tango place. I should
probably have stayed there, then! It was good that I rejoined the
group, though. They had free food and beer at a restaurant near there.

I wasn’t feeling particularly hungry and I really wanted to get my
poi, so I trekked back to Graduate House and picked up my poi and my
diabolo. =)

When I got back, the samba group was warming up, so I slipped into a
Samba Elegua T-shirt (ack! it’s
large!) and played the tambo by mimicking the others. It was _tons_ of
fun, just watching so much energy pour out of the crowd.

It was a little bit weird because this was hippie central and so a
number of people were smoking marijuana. I’m not used to that and I
probably will never be. I tried not to feel weirded out by it, but I
have to confess being a teensy bit afraid of people who were drunk or

The drumming was good, though. =)

After our last set, silence returned to Kensington Market. I brought
out my diabolo and started playing with it while waiting for the samba
group to figure out what to do next. Jed picked it up and tried it
out, too. I still can’t quite believe that this was his first time
with it, as he got the hang of it so quickly. (But hey, this is why I
hang out with brilliant people, right?)

I switched to the cloth poi and played around with it, drawing a bit
of an audience. I met a number of people interested in diabolo and
poi: Alia (happy birthday!), Corin, David, Norman, Denis(?), and Ariel.

I also met Himy again, and he introduced me to Ismael. I should talk
to them more about catalysts, activists, neigborhoods in Toronto…
Himy’s a walking atlas/history maven. Wow. =)

Himy, Jed and I called it a night at around 12, 1. We headed back in
the direction of GH, and had an interesting conversation about
homelessness and politics along the way. I hope Himy becomes a
councilor! He’d do a great job. =)

It will be so hard to wake up tomorrow, but today was definitely worth it!

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Random Japanese sentence: 彼は猫を二匹飼っている。一匹は黒でもう一匹は白だ。 He keeps two cats: one is black, and the other white.

Tango thoughts

I was surprised to run into Victor Hugo, Carlos, and Israel – all from
Tango Passion. I felt guilty about skipping tango! Once you stop,
well, it’s hard to get back on, and the last tango session I had
didn’t go so well. I enjoy dancing with people who, well, dance me,
who care more about the conversation of rhythm and motion than about
dancing a dance or showing their technique. As much as I appreciate
people trying to teach me cool stuff on the dance floor – and there
are some people who can do that well, adding one or two new tricks as
part of our dance – I remember being rather frustrated by people who’d
keep pushing me to do this one thing, or they’d try all sorts of
advanced stuff and be frustrated when I don’t quite follow.

Oh, and being told that I’m too intense, that I smile too much – I
suppose that does make sense in tango’s traditional poses, but I like
focusing on people, not floors. I dance with my eyes, too. It’s not
that I’m getting my cues from them, but I like having the occasional
connection. I can dance with my eyes closed, and I love that feeling
of trust as well. Still… =b

It’s a pity, as I really did enjoy the contact. Socially sanctioned,
wouldn’t be misinterpreted, safe… <laugh> It wasn’t just that,
either. It was really just being able to follow, to listen, to be the
instrument that another person dances through…

Maybe I should try dancing again. After all, I still have my shoes…

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Said Thomas:

A good dance is like playing a good song, once you get into the groove
your mind comes into the present and you just become the dance or

Random Japanese sentence: うちの猫って甘えん坊で、どこでも私のあと着いて来るのよね。 My cat is such a baby, she follows me around wherever I go.

End-of-class tango milonga on Monday

Announcement from Emily:

This Monday is our end-of-class Milonga! Dress will be semi-formal —
so here’s your chance to take a break from papers and studying, get
dressed up, introduce your friends to the tango, and show off your
dancing skills.

There will be tango demonstrations, a quick crash course for beginners, and you
know the food will be good. You can bring your favourite snacks, too.

Monday, March 20th
FREE for club members, $3 for guests

Location: downstairs at the Wolfond Centre/Hillel — 36 Harbord Street, at Huron
Street, between Spadina and St. George, a bit south of Bloor Street.

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E-Mail from Argentine Tango Club

Random Japanese sentence: 私は犬のほうが猫より好きです、何故なら犬のほうが猫より忠実ですから。 I like dogs better than cats, because the former are more faithful than the latter.

I could’ve danced all night…

… and in fact, I just did. Aside from a dinner break and a couple of
dances that I skipped to snack on things or get water or chat with
people, I must’ve danced for _eight_ _hours_ – from 6:30 until Matthew
(the restaurant maitre’d, I guess) finally managed to get us to stop
at 2:30.

Yes, my feet are killing me. I should seriously look into more support
for my dancing shoes. They’re marginally better than dancing barefoot
(which I did at some point, to the regret of my toes), but I may need
more cushioning.

Cushioning can only go so far, though. After all, I did dance for
eight! hours!

Yes, there goes my exercise quota for the week. Hah. As if I’m going
to be able to stay away from tango practica tomorrow, and the walk to
Toastmasters on Tuesday… I should just figure out how to remove the
athletic center from my fees. Or I should set aside time to go there
and oh, use the exercise bikes…


Dancing was _tons_ of fun. I danced with a number of people, including
a tango singer who performed at this show I saw last year. Dancing
with a salsa teacher was particularly fun, as he kept introducing
salsa tricks. Dips! Lifts! Vertical spins! (GWAAH!) It worked out very
well, and Victor Hugo (the tango teacher and the DJ for this session)
laughed and suggested that we practice for a show. A show!

As long as I don’t neglect my studies and other things… =)

If I wake up late tomorrow, you know why.

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Hoping I recover full use of my legs by 7:00, or I won’t be able to
make it to the International Day of Tango celebration. It feels like
I’m walking on swords. Walking on the balls of my feet is out of the
question, which means I can’t properly do the tango walk. My heeled
shoes help a bit, although ochos – where I have to pivot around one
foot – hurt like heck.

Note to self: next time, stretch before dancing energetically.


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